My work

As my clown teacher used to say, "What does not get expressed will become impressed," so I make things. Sometimes I collaborate with people, sometimes I go it solo. Want to work together? Drop me a line!

 

Essays

I write because I love to read. Current obsessions include: Caca Dolce, The Crane WifeAbandon Me, I Am I Am I AmDear Mr. You, and Circe. I'm currently working on a collection of personal narrative essays entitled Clown.

Publications:

  • "Afternoons", Chicago Center for Literature and Photography

  • "Artist", Salt Hill Journal

  • "The Astronaut", Pigeon Pages* 

*Forthcoming spring 2021

 

Storytelling

I tell personal narrative stories about my dad (hey Van Vorhis!), clowning adventures (what's up, Petunia!), ill-fated artistic retreats, failed auditions, and other misadventures I've both fostered and endured on my creative journey. 

Where I've told:

  • MN Tellabration

  • Open Book

  • Cabaret on the Lake

  • Truth Be Told

  • Tenx9 Chicago

  • Chicago Dramatists

  • Story Sessions

  • This Much Is True

  • Truth or Lie

  • Was The Word 

  • Mortified Chicago

  • Is This a Thing?

  • Witching Hour Festival

  • Under the Gun Theater

  • Nerdalogues

  • Fictlicious

  • The Bucket Show

  • Gilead

  • Do Not Submit

 

Theatre

I fell in love with acting when I saw Kate Eifrig in Heather Raffo's 9 Parts of Desire, but reading Maria Irene Fornes' Mud made me want to direct, and basically anything by Sarah Ruhl made me want to write. Who says you have to choose?

Touring Credits

  • Map of my Kingdom, Angela Martin, Swander Woman Productions

  • Are You There, George?, Natalie/Writer/Producer, Dir. Kaitlyn Busbee

  • Out of Bounds, Dani, Working Group Theatre

  • Finder's Daughter, Jitka, Working Group Theatre


Awards 

  • "Are You There, George?" was named #1 Newbie of MN Fringe by vita.mn arts and culture magazine

Directing Credits

  • "Mud" by Maria Irene Fornes (Riverside Theatre and UI Theatre Department)

  • "My Sister" by Janet Schlapkohl (Quad City Theatre Workshop, Riverside Theatre)

 

Film

My best friend, Kaitlyn Busbee, is an accomplished filmmaker and I wanted to hang out with her all the time, so I started making films. Here's my acting reel

Film/TV

  • Sexpert Franzen (short), Lead/Writer/Producer, Dir. Kaitlyn Busbee

  • These Hopeless Savages (feature), Featured//Producer, Dir. Kaitlyn Busbee and Sean Lewis

  • Sad Dad (web series), Lead/Producer, Dir. Kaitlyn Busbee and Sean Lewis

  • Where are you? (short), Lead/Producer, Dir. Kaitlyn Busbee

  • In Luck (web series pilot), Lead, Tiny Pony Pictures Productions

  • Grow Up (short), Featured, Dir. Ben Handler

Awards

  • Named Best Supporting Actress in These Hopeless Savages by Wild Rose Film Festival (2014)

  • Sexpert Franzen nominated for Best Short of the Twin Cities Film Fest (2018)

 

Teaching

I love teaching and have worked as a drama teacher, storytelling coach, and TimeSlips facilitator throughout the Midwest.

Teaching highlights:

  • Storytelling workshops include: "Storytelling Seeds: A Generative Workshop" TestKitchen (2019) & Witching Hour Festival (2016), "Storytelling for Advocacy" EverThrive IL Conference (2017, 2018), "Problematic Princesses" WAVES Programming (2016)

  • I'm a Certified TimeSlips facilitator and worked with seniors with memory loss in Chicago to create original stories using photographs, poetry, music, and movement

  • I've taught drama to adults and teenagers with developmental disabilities using movement, improvisation, and song to create and stage original productions

 
 

Sexpert Franzen, a short film by Kaitlyn Busbee and Maria Vorhis (Official Trailer)

 
 

©2021 by Maria Vorhis.